Not only was Notre Dame’s win over top ranked Clemson big for the Fighting Irish, vaulting them to #2 in the latest AP rankings, it was also a boon for NBC in the ratings. The double-overtime classic drew an average of 9.44 million according to the Nielsen Ratings. Those numbers make it the most watched Notre Dame game on NBC since the infamous “Bush Push” (where USC running back Reggie Bush pushed quarterback Matt Leinart into the end zone for the game-winning touchdown) game in 2005. That contest drew an average of 10.1 million viewers.
The high numbers come despite game coverage being preempted by President–Elect Joe Biden’s victory speech from 8:27 to 8:57 p.m. During that time, game coverage switched to the USA Network. Viewership reached its peak when 14.1 million viewers tuned in to the second overtime to see Notre Dame seal the 47-40 victory. Currently, the game is the second most watched game this season, just behind Georgia versus Alabama on October 17th (an average of 9.61 million viewers) though it is expected to pass that mark once the “Out of Home” numbers are reported later in the week.
While not citing the ratings directly, Fox Radio host Jonas Knox and former Fighting Irish quarterback Brady Quinn say the game helped Notre Dame’s status as a national brand.
“You have Notre Dame fans all across this country because of NBC,” Knox said. “It’s the same kind of phenomenon with Cubs and Braves fans spread out all over because of WGN and TBS before the regional sports networks took over. But Notre Dame is still a National brand and the result (beating Clemson) was not only good for Notre Dame, it was good for college football. It puts new blood in the National Championship conversation.”
Quinn agrees, adding that Notre Dame has struggled to stay relevant in recent seasons.
“There were a few games during the Manti Teo era that were good,” Quinn said. “But I would say this was the biggest Notre Dame game since the “Bush Push” (which Quinn played in) and then you have to go all the way back to (upsetting #1) Florida State (1993).”
“Clemson and Notre Dame could meet two more times, in the ACC Championship and the college football playoffs,” Quinn continued. “I hope it happens because I have heard a lot of Clemson fans say, ‘yeah but we didn’t have Trevor Lawrence’. Well, unless something happens, you are going to get your chance and if Clemson wins, I could see them both getting in the playoffs and playing again.”
Unfortunately for NBC, if that scenario plays out, they would miss out on the ratings bonanza because their contract with Notre Dame only covers regular season games. The ABC family of networks owns the rights to the ACC championship game and the college football playoffs.
Jacob Conley writes about news/talk radio BNM. He can be found on Twitter @GWUJake or reach him by email at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Rob Dibble, 97.9 ESPN Help Collect Nearly 5,000 Turkeys
“This year, the support from listeners, sponsors, partners and volunteers helped make a remarkable state-wide impact.”
The station, along with other iHeart Connecticut stations, also raised more than $189,000 during the 23rd annual Turkey Tuesday at Connecticut Foodshare’s headquarters.
“We are continually grateful of the outpouring of donations from our listeners and Connecticut community on our annual events to ensure a Thanksgiving for all,” said iHeartMedia Hartford and New Haven Vice President of Marketing Vanessa Wojtusiak. “This year, the support from listeners, sponsors, partners and volunteers helped make a remarkable state-wide impact.”
Dibble has been a longtime support of Connecticut Foodshare, hosting its director Al Marino on his show several times throughout the year to ensure families in Connecticut have access to the food bank.
Danny O’Neil is a sports media columnist for BSM. He has previously hosted morning and afternoon drive for 710 ESPN Seattle, and served as a reporter for the Seattle Times. He can be reached on Twitter @DannyOneil or by email at Danny@DannyOneil.com.
Ray Didinger Subject of NFL Films Feature, Tells Angelo Cataldi He’s Stayed Busy in Retirement
Former 94WIP host and Philadelphia Daily News and NBC Sports Philadelphia writer Ray Didinger retired earlier this year, but he told Angelo Cataldi he’s remained busy even though he stepped away from his media career.
“It’s been busier than I thought,” Didinger said. “Just because of the way things have gone in the city. The Phillies going to the World Series, the Eagles are 10-1, I don’t think any of us thought it was going to be this kind of run. Consequently, my phone hasn’t stopped ringing. I had no idea everyone in the world has a podcast so I’ve been getting all those calls. My name and my phone number are on way too many rolodexes all around the country. When somebody says ‘Hey, let’s do a piece about Philly’, my phone rings. It’s been busy but it’s been good. It’s been great to see what this has meant to the city.”
Didinger hosted shows from 10:00 AM-1:00 PM on Saturdays and Sundays for 94WIP. In total, he spent more than 50 years covering the NFL before retiring in May.
After Cataldi asked for Didinger’s opinion on the 2022 Eagles, he asked the now-retired reporter if he was still using his yellow notepad. Didinger admitted he does still use the notepad, and Cataldi chastised his former colleague after he said he would retire the notepad. Cataldi joked when he retires after the Eagles season concludes, he hopes to lose co-hosts Al Morganti and Rhea Hughes’ phone numbers.
Didinger will be the subject of an NFL Films feature about his longtime career covering the league. The program will air on FS1 on Friday at 12:30 AM.
Colin Dunlap: ‘Insane’ What Tom Rinaldi Has Done During Last Week
“He’s going from Doha to Dallas and Kansas City to Doha and Columbus to Doha. Something’s up! There’s two Tom Rinaldi’s.”
It was a banner week for FOX Sports during the Thanksgiving holiday, and no one got more work than the network’s Tom Rinaldi. 93.7 The Fan morning show host Colin Dunlap believes Rinaldi deserves props for his schedule.
“It’s insane what he’s done,” Dunlap said. “I wrote it down and I saw somebody tweet it. Listen to this schedule — and I don’t even know if it’s worth it — but listen to what Tom Rinaldi has done: Wednesday? Qatar. Thursday? Dallas for the Cowboys game. Friday? Back to the US-England match in Qatar. Saturday? In Columbus, Ohio for Michigan/Ohio State. Sunday? Kansas City for the NFL game.
“And then if you’ve gotta guess, he’s gonna be at the American game tomorrow so he’s travelling back to Qatar today. I don’t even travel back and forth to Baltimore like that. He’s going from Doha to Dallas and Kansas City to Doha and Columbus to Doha. Something’s up! There’s two Tom Rinaldi’s.”
Dunlap, co-host Chris Mack, and producer Adam Crowley then discussed whether FOX Sports was using Rinaldi enough. While noting that he’s travelling to all these locations, they believe he isn’t being utilized enough for the bigger stories he’s been known for.
They also joked about whether Rinaldi was flying back and forth on Rupert Murdoch’s private jet and whether or not that would make life easier.